Photography and Formulae

9 May
 

… or, Why?

© 2015 Margo Taussig Pinkerton.  All Rights Reserved.  From Barefoot Contessa Photo Adventures.  For usage and fees, please e-mail TBC (at) BCphotoadventures (dot) com or contact us at 310 Lafayette Drive, Hillsborough, NC  27278 or at 919-643-3036 before 9 p.m. east-coast time, GMT-5.First, let me say, there are no formulae in photography.

I get quite tired of all the various websites and magazine articles showing photographs with the settings used to make them. Who gives a rat’s a$$? The settings you use are the ones appropriate for that particular image you are making and the effect that you want for it.

Water, for example. Water, unless in a still, mirror-surfaced pond, is ever changing. Listen to the ocean, a river, or a waterfall, and the sound is not constant. Why? The flow keeps changing.

Many people, including Arnie and me, like to give that soft effect, bespeaking water flow. Here are two examples from the same location, photographed from about the exact same place give or take a few feet. I used 2.5 seconds and 1/5 second. Which is which? Does it make any difference? No, because the next time I return to that location, the flow will be different, and I may want a different effect.© 2015 Margo Taussig Pinkerton.  All Rights Reserved.  From Barefoot Contessa Photo Adventures.  For usage and fees, please e-mail TBC (at) BCphotoadventures (dot) com or contact us at 310 Lafayette Drive, Hillsborough, NC  27278 or at 919-643-3036 before 9 p.m. east-coast time, GMT-5.© 2015 Margo Taussig Pinkerton.  All Rights Reserved.  From Barefoot Contessa Photo Adventures.  For usage and fees, please e-mail TBC (at) BCphotoadventures (dot) com or contact us at 310 Lafayette Drive, Hillsborough, NC  27278 or at 919-643-3036 before 9 p.m. east-coast time, GMT-5.

And the one at the top? Yet another shutter speed, for sure.

Some people do not like that milky look, and sometimes I like to render water differently, using a Continue reading 

Adobe, Customer Support, Lightroom 6, and Responsibility

2 May
 

Latest Update: May 18, 2015 with italics and bold.

… or, Adobe did not warn us

© 2015 Margo Taussig Pinkerton.  All Rights Reserved.  From Barefoot Contessa Photo Adventures.  For usage and fees, please e-mail TBC (at) BCphotoadventures (dot) com or contact us at 310 Lafayette Drive, Hillsborough, NC  27278 or at 919-643-3036 before 9 p.m. east-coast time, GMT-5.
Rumors of Adobe coming out with Lightroom 6 have been going on for some months, even back to September of last year, in fact at least eight of our workshops ago, Arnie, my husband and partner, and I were looking forward to the new features, whatever they might be.

We kept waiting for announcements, but the rumors did not become fact until very recently on April 21.

I certainly do not fault Adobe for waiting to release a product, but when my Creative Cloud announced Lightroom 6, it came with no warnings, no caveats. To me, that was irresponsible of Adobe. Why?

For example, at least one of our alumni wrote saying there were a number of reported incidents of problems with installing this new release. Neither Arnie, nor I, nor an alumna who recently came to me for a Lightroom consulting session experienced this.

What I did experience, however, was major crashes for the simplest of tasks. Moving one image to another spot for one of our web galleries, for example. Adjusting the exposure in the Basic section, for another. And the clone/heal tool? That was a challenge.

Arnie reported that Lightroom 6 was extremely sluggish. In addition, he has a new feature, one that he neither wants nor requested. When he imports his images, they copy as his camera RAW file before converting to DNG, yet in Preferences, the box by Embed Original Raw File is unchecked. Lovely! Now, this means that Arnie has to go into the folder where these images are stored and physically delete his native RAW settings as well as the sidecar, xmp files. What a bore and what a waste of time and energy! UPDATE: This is fortunately no longer an issue!

Knock on wood, I have not been subjected to this particular feature. Thanks, Adobe, for making Arnie’s and other photographers’ lives more complicated. As with many photographers, Arnie’s expertise, aside from photography, lies in cameras, NOT computers. Really, where are the heads at Adobe?

Adobe clearly knew about these issues; so there should, in me’umble opinion, have been an announcement that you needed to read before upgrading to Lightroom 6.

Before I continue, know that I have one simple work-around for some issues towards the end of this blog.

There have been a number of times when the very-polite-person in India and other overseas locations has just quietly hung up on me. They do not want to get a bad mark, I am sure, so we get “disconnected.” Most of us know the difference between a disconnected call and one where one can hear the very quiet click as the person at the other end hangs up. And then, you have to wait yet again to reach someone.

In my case, this time, at least, there was no “disconnect.” I was told by the automated machine that my wait time would be between 21 and 33 minutes. Fair enough. I am not their only customer by far, and with these issues, I could only imagine the flood of calls they were fielding. That said, my wait time was well over an hour and a half. I would respectfully suggest to Adobe that they reassess the parameters for their estimated wait times. If I know it is going to be that long, I can go inside and grab a quick lunch to bring back out to my office. I can make a call on our land line and know that I have time before Adobe is able to get to me. I can even embark on some chores that are better done without interruptions, balancing a statement, has for example. Sure, Adobe can put you in queue for a call-back, but I am no better off than I am staying on the line.

My Customer Support person knew immediately what to do and promised to pass my concerns on up to Adobe regarding unrealistic wait times and lack of warning before upgrading to LR6. He also gave me some excellent information.

First, unless your graphics processor is the Continue reading 

The Care and Feeding of Your Lightroom Catalog

25 Apr
 

… or, The Health and Maintenance of Your Lightroom Catalog

© 2011 Margo Taussig Pinkerton.  All Rights Reserved.  From Barefoot Contessa Photo Adventures.  For usage and fees, please e-mail TBC (at) BCphotoadventures (dot) com or contact us at 310 Lafayette Drive, Hillsborough, NC  27278 or at 919-643-3036 before 9 p.m. east-coast time, GMT-5.
I first wrote this in December of 2011, and it has been revised several times since. As we work with participants in our workshops, I am reminded that it is again time to update and republish this blog.

For those who want to get a leg-up in Lightroom, we are asking if people are interested in a Lightroom 6 workshop in mid-July 2015 in Hillsborough, NC. This would be two half-days so that the participants have a chance to absorb the basics before moving on. There are cheap flights into Raleigh/Durham, RDU, and if there are enough people who sign up, we can try to arrange for a discount at a local hotel. Let us know!

So, why the cactus images? Lightroom can get what I call nudgy. It gets prickly and uncooperative. You do a normal task and get the most fascinating results, usually not at all what you had in mind.

In my blog called Lightroom Setup, which I should probably update, too, I made some suggestions for setting up your preferences in Lightoom.

I have already made some revisions to this blog based on input from both our readers and Lightroom expert Rob Sylvan of the help desk at NAPP as well as his own Lightroomers.

This time, we’ll address what I call the care and feeding of your Lightroom catalog to keep it healthy.

Computers fail. Programs fail. So, it is not a question of if something will fail, rather when it will.

Most of us have been through it to one degree or another. The information gets lost in the worst sand storm in recent decades, and it’s a long, dusty road getting everything back to the way we want it.© 2011 Margo Taussig Pinkerton.  All Rights Reserved.  From Barefoot Contessa Photo Adventures.  For usage and fees, please e-mail TBC (at) BCphotoadventures (dot) com or contact us at 310 Lafayette Drive, Hillsborough, NC  27278 or at 919-643-3036 before 9 p.m. east-coast time, GMT-5.

Backing up your information is critical to the health and survival of anyone owning a computer. For those who want to read more on this, go to my very-recently-updated blog Backup, Backup, Backup.

A couple of reminders. Some people have computers with minimal capabilities for the latest versions of Lightroom (6 was just released). While we recommend choosing in your Catalog Settings to “Backup once a day when exiting Lightroom,” you may Skip this operation sometimes when exiting Lightroom when you do not have time, but don’t forget to backup the next time!. Those people with borderline computer capabilities may wish to Optimize in a separate action from Backing up. While we have not experienced this, some people have reported Lightroom crashing when trying to Optimize in the same operation as Backing up.

There are several other things you can adopt to keep your Lightroom catalog working well.

First, for those who don’t know, Continue reading